Wishes versus Goals

Goal setting is the first, and probably the most important, scale measured by our Personal Responsibility Map. In order to learn how to set and achieve goals, it is helpful to understand the difference between goals and dreams or wishes.


By definition, a goal is an object or end that one strives to attain. A goal is an end result towards which one directs some effort. Goal setting is the ability to set clear, written goals with plans and dates for achieving or reaching them. Conversely, a wish is a desire or longing for; it is an expression that somebody wants. It might be possible or it might not. A wish may, at some point in time, become a goal. Once it becomes a goal, it can be acted upon.

Goals and PBIS

PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) is a term used to describe the proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports needed for students to achieve social, emotional, and academic success. This definition brings together the worlds of academic instruction and behavioral intervention. Perhaps one of the most obvious connections between the academic world and the behavioral world is the motivation to learn.


In order for someone to have motivation the must have a goal! In its simplest form, the goal might be to pass a class. A more advanced goal might be to get in to a good college. There is an undeniable connection between the academic course and how it will assist an individual in achieving their more advanced goal. Research demonstrates that the closer this connection is, the more motivation there will be. This type of relationship exists between the goals of your PBIS system and the individual goals of your students.

Basic Goal-Setting Rules to Live By

In our skill intervention unit on Goal Setting, we teach the basics of goal setting and goal achievement. Here are a few of the basic rules we cover:

  • Believe in your dreams.
  • Select meaningful, challenging and exciting goals.
  • Goals must match your values.
  • Set goals that can be measured.
  • Set a timeline for each goal.
  • Write clear goal statements.

Being able to use these rules to set and achieve goals is what sets high achievers apart from the rest. By utilizing our system as part of your PBIS process, you can establish the foundation in your students for academic success and overall high achievement in life.

These are just some of the basic rules of goal setting. Do you want to learn more about goal setting and how to assess self-determination and goal setting? Make sure to sign up for our free trial to get a peek at our Personal Responsibility Map here.